Numeric Question

June 17, 2016


A num eric question expects an answer to contain numeric characters (0-9). The answer can be an integer or a real number. You also have the option of assigning the number of decimals places to be accepted in the answer or formatting the answer to language specific thousands and decimal separator. By default a numeric question expects a integer number answer. In addition, numeric questions can be extended with special values as categorical selections.

The picture below displays a numeric integer question on a tablet.

The picture below displays a numeric real number question on a tablet. 

The picture below displays a numeric question with language specific thousand and decimal separator enabled on a tablet.


Creating a numeric question

In Questionnaire Designer,

  1. Click on the Question Type box.

  2. Select Numeric.


How a numeric question appears on a tablet

To type the answer, the enumerator has to tap on the question box for the keyboard to display. The keyboard automatically shows numeric characters. Note that even if the enumerator can navigate through the keyboard showing alpha characters, they can only include numeric characters in the answer.




To create a numeric integer question, click on the Integer checkbox.
A question with the Integer option selected, accepts a maximum of 10 digits in the answer. If you expect an answer higher than 9999999999 (e.g. id codes) the question should not expect an integer value but a real value.

On a tablet the enumerator cannot enter values with decimal places.


Since numeric questions are by default Integer, enable decimal answers by unchecking the Integer checkbox. By default when a question is defined as real, the Number of decimal places field is blank. This means that the maximum number of decimal places assigned by the system is 28. You may want the answer entered to have a specific number of decimal places, such as a question asking for the temperature up to one decimal point.

To define the maximum number of decimals accepted by the question, add the corresponding number in the Number of decimal places field.

On a tablet the answer can be an integer or a real number with less or an equal number of decimals than the defined maximum.

Thousand and Decimal Separator

Answers entered in numeric questions can be formatted to language specific thousands and decimal separator. To enable this feature, click on the Use 1000 separator check box. 

On a tablet, the answer entered will display a thousand separator specific to the language of the device.

Special Values 

Either a value can be entered, or one of the provided answer options may be selected.  Special values are stored as codes and are exported in the same numeric variable, with labels defined in file formats that support value labels.

To enable this feature, check the special values check box and enter the answer option(s) and codes. 



The answer given to a numeric question is exported in a numeric variable. The name of this variable is the question’s variable name defined in the Questionnaire Designer.
This question type can expect an integer or a real number. The example below illustrates the export for a real number question.


Numeric real number question

Unanswered question exported in tab-delimited file

Answered question exported in tab-delimited file